Every year around this time, people start talking about New Year’s resolutions, which is so weak and sad. Saying you resolve to do something is like saying, “Oh, I think, maybe, if it works out, I’ll try to do it.” Lame. Give me a break. The only way you’re actually going to accomplish something is if you make it a real, legitimate, goal. Here’s what to do.
Narrow it Down
We all have areas we want to work on in our personal lives and careers. The key to being successful in moving forward and accomplishing something is to laser target on something you can change. So, if you want to accomplish a goal such as saving more money, narrow it down to a specific amount. If you want to be more healthily, decide on one or two ways to do so, like quitting a bad habit, working out, eating healthier. If you want to make more money in your business, narrow it down to getting new clients, or getting higher value clients. Tip: The more specific you get about the area you want to improve, the closer you come to having a real goal that you can achieve.
Make it SMART
The gold standard for goal setting is to make it SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Oriented. There are some other variations on SMART, but the point is the goal needs to be precise with a clear, measurable outcome and an end date. Just like the popular motivational quote says: “Goals are just dreams with a deadline.” Example – you want to make more money this year so you would set a SMART goal – “I will bring in three new clients with contracts valuing a total of at least $20,000 by the end of the second quarter.” It’s specific, measureable and time-oriented. Only you know if it is realistic and attainable. Tip: If you have one big, overarching goal, don’t be afraid to break it down in to multiple small goals that combine into a strategy to help you get there.
Adjust Your Sails
It’s important to set goals and to go for them, but it’s also important and okay to stay on top of your progress and adjust as necessary if something isn’t working out. What you need to focus on is making it happen, and be flexible about how you get there. Tip: If a goal is taking too long to accomplish, give yourself a little more time. If it’s not working at all, try a different approach.
Are you ready to kill it in 2017? With SMART goals in mind, nothing can stop you. Just remember to be stubborn about what you want, but flexible about how to make them happen.